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Recipes

Salmon Kebabs

Brittany Carlson

These are perfect for a summer evening. Put them on the grill or broil them. They are a hit either way. This recipe makes about 4 kebabs. 

Ingredients

1 pound of salmon, cut into squares for skewer. Make sure the skin is removed-- I asked my butcher to do this for me

1/2 cup parsley, chopped finely 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 

1/2 freshly squeezed lemon 

1 garlic, finely chopped 

1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (or more if you like an extra kick— I like things more mild) 

1/2 red onion -- this is for the skewer-- do not mix in with your spice marinade 

Skewers - either metal or wood

Method

1. Combine all of your spices and lemon and then mix in salmon squares. Cover the mixture and stick it in the fridge for later. Marinate your salmon for as long as you can-- up to 6 hours is best but you can get away with a little over an hour. 

2. When you're about ready to eat, cut your onion into little squares to separate the salmon on the skewer. Prepare your skewers using two pieces of onion to separate each salmon square. 

2. Line a pan with parchment paper and set your oven to broil. Broil for about 2 minutes and then turn your salmon to the other side and broil for another two minutes. 

Chicken Meatballs

Brittany Carlson

Mmm meatballs are so good! This recipe is inspired by the Meatball Shop, which started in NYC. This recipe has garbanzo flour instead of breadcrumbs to make it gluten free. The idea is the meatball is the main event, which makes this an easy dinner to whip up. This is great with a hearty pesto or tomato sauce and a giant green salad!

Ingredients

1 pound of ground chicken thigh meat

1 egg

1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/8 cup white wine (I used chardonnay but use whatever you have)

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground fennel 

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Line baking dish with parchment paper. 

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, parsley, egg, salt, fennel, pepper, flour and wine. Mix well with your hands.

4. Make into balls about the size of a ping pong ball and place on parchment paper in your baking dish. 

5. Bake for 20 minutes. 

6. Cool and serve! I served mine with greens beans 

 

Dijon Dressing

Brittany Carlson

This is my go-to classic salad dressing. Great for everyday salads with any kind of green.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon squeezed or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Put all of your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy! If you don't have a blender, put all of your ingredients into a glass jar, cover and shake until it is well mixed. 

Homemade Chocolate Protein Bar

Brittany Carlson

I'm so excited about these DIY protein bars. I was buying something similar at one of my favorite juice shops, Urban Remedy, and thought to myself, I can totally make this on my own! This is a great alternative to packaged bars that have a zillion ingredients. These are perfect for a post workout snack, breakfast, or as a treat-- they are loaded with healthy fats, protein and fiber to keep you going strong! And they're delicious!

Ingredients

Base:
2 cups hazelnut  meal
1/2 cup ground flax
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil

Bar Topping:
1/2 cup cacao
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of of coconut oil


Method

Base
1. Place hazelnut meal, ground flax, shredded coconut, coconut butter and salt in a food processor and blend until all ingredients are fully ground and blended. 

2. Melt coconut oil over low heat and stir in maple syrup. Once fully melted, add this to the ground mixture in the food processor and blend.

3. Once ingredients are well mixed, transfer into an 8x11 glass baking dish. If you want thicker bars, you can use a smaller pan. Place in refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes. 

Bar Topping
1. While the base of the bar is chilling, make the chocolate topping— just place coconut oil in a plan on low heat. Gently melt and stir in cacao and maple syrup. 


2. Remove your bar base from the fridge and pour melted chocolate over the base to cover the entire baking dish. It might not look like you have enough chocolate sauce to cover the tray, but trust me it is enough, and it will seem like more when it hardens.

Option: sprinkle with sea salt or cacao nibs would be good too! 

3. Put the baking dish back into the fridge to harden for about 20 minutes.

4. Cut into bars and enjoy! (Tip: I recommend leaving the baking dish out for about 5 minutes before cutting up into bar pieces— otherwise the chocolate may break). Keep bars refrigerated until you're ready to eat them. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Paleo)

Brittany Carlson

These cookies taste even better than they look-- slightly crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. They are delicious and won't spike your blood sugar like crazy (like most cookies) since there is fat (coconut oil, almond butter), fiber (hazelnut meal, coconut flour) and protein (almond butter, egg) to keep things in balance. The idea is that your insulin will rise every time you eat but you want to avoid spikes-- adding fat especially helps with this. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnut meal

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar 

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together hazelnut flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 
     

  3. Melt coconut oil on low to medium heat. Once coconut oil is melted, in a separate mixing bowl from the flour mixture, mix coconut oil and coconut sugar (you can use a spoon or beater). Next, add the almond butter.  Lastly, add the egg.

  4. Combine flour mixture with wet mixture. Then add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. You may need to use your hands to make sure all ingredients are well combined.  

  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease the bottom (I used coconut oil for greasing). 

  6. Roll the dough into small to medium sized balls and place on baking sheet. Press the balls down softly with your two fingers to flatten into a cookie.

  7. Bake for 15 minutes and let cool. Enjoy! 

Chicken "Tacos"

Brittany Carlson

I made these crunchy and hearty wraps with one of my younger clients that I'm trying to transition away from breads and grains. He loved these and so did his entire family. They are quick and simple to make, clean and full of lean protein and fiber. The coconut oil adds a sweet touch but if you prefer more of a buttery taste, I recommend using ghee. 

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tBSP coconut oil (for SAUTEEING chicken and veggies)

  • 1 lb ground chicken

  • 1 Yellow Onion, finely diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2-1 tbsP ginger, MINCED

  • 1 large carrot, finely diced

  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

  • 2 scallions

  • sea salt

  • 1 head of bibb or butter lettuce
     

Method

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat.

  2. Add chicken to pan with pinch of salt and pepper. Break up the chicken so it gets cooked through completely-- about 10 minutes or so-- Start sauteing your veggies while the chicken cooks. 

  3. In a separate skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat and add onion, ginger and garlic.  Saute for about 5 to 8 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add carrot and cook for about 5-8 minutes. stir often.  

  4. Add your veggie saute to the ground chicken pan.

  5. Mix in maple syrup and hot sauce and extra salt to taste. Cook for another couple minutes.

  6. Wash your butter lettuce leaves (I wash however many I plan to use and wash them individually so they don't tear. dry with a paper towel.). scoop chicken mixture into the leaves.

  7. Eat these guys like a taco and enjoy your healthy meal!

Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Crispy + Spiced Cauliflower Florets

Brittany Carlson

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large cauliflower chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves grated
  • 1/4 tspn salt

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut or break cauliflower into florets. 
  • Line baking tray with parchment paper and place the cauliflower florets on the tray.  
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in frying pan and toss melted oil into cauliflower. I use my hands to make sure it is well coated.  Then place florets in the oven for about 10 minutes while making your sauce. 
  • On low heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, and then add cumin, thyme, sumac, paprika, salt and garlic. Add the garlic last since it cooks very quickly. Stir mix for about 3 minutes on low heat.
  • Remove slightly baked cauliflower from the oven and toss in your sauce. Again, I  use my hands or tongs if it is too hot. Continue to bake for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower starts to brown and crisp.
  • Add more salt to taste

This goes perfectly as a side dish with chicken, fish or meat. I also love tossing this into my green salads to add some heartiness and warmth.  

Broccoli Soup

Brittany Carlson

This soup is perfect for cleansing and is also very nourishing. I love this soup because I know I am getting my essential phytonutrients and minerals into my body and also helping my system to detox unwanted toxins. I make a batch of this soup about once a week.

Ingredients

1 tbsn coconut oil

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 heads of broccoli, roughly chopped

1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 tspn salt

4 cups water

Optional topping: fresh mint leaves

Method

  • In a medium sized pot, heat coconut oil and add chopped onion and salt. Saute for about 3 minutes. 
  • Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add broccoli and saute for about 5 minutes.
  • Add water. Cook until water boils. 
  • Once water has boiled, decrease heat to low-medium, and cover your pot. Cook for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender (Vitamix is my preference) and puree. 
  • Serve with a splash of olive oil and chopped mint!

 This recipe makes about 4 bowls of soup. 

 

Cardamom-Pistachio Chocolate Covered Dates

Brittany Carlson

Holiday gift buying has been something that I would wait until the last minute to do in past years. It’s hard to buy something meaningful for over 7 people at once! At our house, we go around the room several times addressing each person with one gift at a time (yes, it takes hours and many pots of coffee!) --I’ve always felt lukewarm about the gifts I’ve given— often trinket-like objects that will perhaps be thrown away after a few months of sitting on a shelf or inside someone's sock drawer. 

Last year, my brother Dustin made the most delicious chocolate covered dates coated with unique spices and toppings. They were a hit and we enjoyed them the entire week as a healthier dessert option or afternoon pick-me-up. My favorite was the Cardamom-pistachio, so I made some this year for my friends and placed them in little boxes with a red ribbon (spoiler alert if you’re reading this and are receiving these!). As well, I experimented with coconut and sesame seeds, which also turned out nicely. 

Try making these or another holiday gift this year! It is all the more fun and meaningful to give  something that you created with your own hands. I know I love receiving homemade treats that someone made just for me : ) These also won't sit in a sock drawer or anywhere else for very long for that matter-- they are delicious!

Added Bonus-- these old-fashion candies have no added sugar. The chocolate is unsweetened so all of the sweetness is coming from the dates : )

Here’s the recipe--

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 bars of unsweetened 100% baking chocolate
  • 30 dates (with the pits-- the dates sold without pits are usually dry)
  • 30 whole pecans (or match however many dates you have)
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, chopped well
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cardamom spice (for dusting the dates)
  • sea salt or himalayan salt to sprinkle on dates 

Directions

1. Remove pits from dates and replace them with one pecan per date. 

2. Melt chocolate on low heat.

3. Once chocolate is melted, drop a few dates in your pot at a time and roll them in the chocolate so they are well coated. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. 

4. While the dates are fresh out of the chocolate, lightly dust them with cardamom and flakey sea salt.

5. Roll your chocolate covered dates in the pistachios and place them back on your baking tray to dry. 

Tip: You can put your dates in the fridge so they dry more quickly or leave them out-- either way, wait for them to dry, and enjoy!

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Pomegranate Persimmon Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

Brittany Carlson

Going to a holiday party? Bring this! It is festive, vibrant and tasty! It might even be the only green that you see on the table! Which reminds me to mention-- I know its holiday time and we're all so excited, but remember to be kind to your body. Help yourself out and remember to consume your greens and not just the party food. This is where your anti-aging, glowing skin and energy comes in! Just a quick reminder : ) 

Now, enjoy!

Salad Ingredients
* 6 cups of greens (I used a mix of spinach and arugula)
* 1 persimmon, sliced thinly
* 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
* 1/2 avocado, sliced
* 1/4 cup pine nuts

Rosemary Dressing Ingredients
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 1 tbsn apple cider vinegar
* 1/2 tspn rosemary
* 1/2 tspn thyme
* 1/4 tspn salt

Method
* Combine all of your salad ingredients. 
* Combine all dressing ingredients. Blend or shake in a mason jar with a top. Blending will make it creamier. 
* Toss in your dressing and serve!

Fall Pumpkin Cookies

Brittany Carlson

This is an old recipe from my mom's side of the family, tweaked healthy : ) Every fall around Halloween and Thanksgiving, my mom would make batches of pumpkin cookies and we would look forward to snacking on them when we got home from school.  I made them over the weekend, and they were quickly devoured!

These beauties are addicting! They are so moist and perfectly sweet. You can enjoy them for breakfast, with afternoon tea, or for dessert! No need to feel guilty about eating them either--they are about as healthy as it gets. Pumpkin is rich in beta carotene, vitamin C and fiber. Speaking of fiber, there is more of that in the almond flour and tiger nut flour (prebiotics!) A dessert that is gut friendly and tasty? Success!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of ghee, melted
  • 1.5 cups of coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (make sure to buy the unsweetened kind!)
  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 2.5 cups tiger nut flour
  • 2 tspn clove or all spice
  • 1 tspn  baking soda
  • 2 tspn salt
  • 2 tspn cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder


Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 and grease a cookie sheet
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, mix ghee, eggs and pumpkin puree
  • In a large mixing bowl combine coconut sugar, almond flour, tiger nut flour, close, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder
  • Add wet mix to almond and tiger nut flour mixture. Add in batches so you can thoroughly mix in the dry ingredients. 
  • Put dough in the fridge to harden for about 15 minutes
  • Once dough is hardened, remove from the fridge and make cookies on your greased tray. 
  • Bake in batches for 30-35 minutes (time may vary by oven)
  • Enjoy!

Makes about 35 cookies

You can really see the moisture in this photo. So lovely to eat! My boyfriend took these to work and his co-workers gobbled them up!

Rosemary Acorn Squash Salad Bowl with "Creamy" Maple-Tahini Dressing

Brittany Carlson

I'm on an acorn squash kick. It is so warming and delightful at this time of year. Makes me feel like we're really in Fall, despite the 80 degree weather we've been having in San Francisco. This salad is hearty enough to have on it's own. This is a great opportunity to load up on your phytonutrients and anti-oxidants with 4-5 cups of greens. Eat it all! The Maple Tahini dressing is creamy and full of wonderful vitamins minerals, such as copper and magnesium.

Note that you need an adequate amount of the mineral magnesium to be able to absorb calcium and maintain strong bones and teeth. Magnesium also helps to prevent constipation, menstrual cramps, depression, and promotes healthy muscle recovery. Many of us are deficient in magnesium due to the loss of this mineral in our food (due to processing). I recommend taking a supplement on a daily basis if you are concerned about your calcium absorption.  

Rosemary Acorn Squash

  • 1 acorn squash, cut into cubes (leave skin on)
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 1 tspn sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Maple Tahini Creamy Dressing

  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tspn sea salt

Salad

  • 3 cups of chopped kale
  • 1 cup of spinach arugula mix
  • shredded carrot, about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage
  • Sliced red onion (to your liking)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place chopped squash in your baking tray and toss in olive oil, cinnamon and rosemary. Use your hands to get every piece well coated with oil and spice. 
  • Bake squash in oven for about 20 minutes. Stir midway. 
  • While your squash is baking, blend all of the dressing ingredients together or put in a mason jar with a lid and shake until ingredients are well combined. 
  • Remove squash from the oven and let cool.
  • Toss dressing into salad and then add warm acorn squash.
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

Coconut Chia Seed Porridge

Brittany Carlson

Chia seeds are an ideal breakfast or snack because they contain all of the essential macro-nutrients to keep you fueled.  If you haven't tried chia seeds or have only used them as a topping instead of the main dish, try out my Warm Coconut Chia Porridge. I eat this for breakfast or sometimes as an afternoon snack, and it tastes like a comforting dessert.  No sugar spikes or cravings to follow! 

7 Reasons to Get Your Chia On

1. Chia seeds are a complete protein--note to vegetarians!

2. Chia seeds help retain electrolytes. When mixed with water, these little beads absorb up to 10 times their weight. I recommend consuming chia seeds before a workout to stay hydrated.

‪3. Chia seeds aid in digestive health. One serving contains 11 grams of fiber to keep you regular. These seeds also contain valuable minerals, which are needed to produce enzymes in the body to break down the food you eat.‬

4. Chia seeds reduce inflammation. Chia contains the highest level of omega 3 fatty acids of any known plant foods, which helps to decrease inflammation throughout the body. An anti-inflammatory diet is important to prevent disease.‬

5. Chia seeds balance blood sugar. Chia is high in fiber and fat, so it is digested slowly, helping to avoid spikes in blood sugar. 

‪6.  Chia seeds promote strong bones. Chia contains calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus, helping to maintain bone mass and strength.‬

7. Chia seeds improve cholesterol levels. Chia seeds have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind!).‬

Warm Chia Seed Porridge Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons of full fat organic coconut milk, unsweetened (I use this one)
  • 1 cup of boiled water
  • 3 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • pinch of flakey sea salt

Method

  • Whisk boiling water, cinnamon, vanilla and chia together. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in coconut milk and sea salt.
  • Put porridge into a jar or bowl and enjoy!

Optional toppings: coconut milk, cacao nibs, nuts, seeds, goji berries, blueberries, hemp seeds

Coconut Milk Tip: The cream in canned coconut milk often separates from the water. To acheive more of a milky consistency, I remove everything from the can and blend the water and cream together. I use this milk in my coffee on a daily basis and it is delicious!

The Skinny on Smoothies. Do They Help You Maintain Your Weight?

Brittany Carlson

Many people view smoothies as a vehicle to weight loss. If the scale isn't budging, it is most likely because of too much fruit in your smoothie. 

Fruit naturally contains fructose, which is not directly absorbed into the blood (unlike glucose). Fructose requires more energy for our bodies to metabolize-- it needs to go through the small intestines and the liver before it can be used as fuel. When our cells have enough glucose to function, the excess is stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver to be used on a rainy day. When these glycogen reserves are full because of more sugar than your particular body needs, sugar is stored as fat. That's right, excess sugar is stored as fat. Dietary sugar increases blood triglycerides more than any other macronutrient. Essentially, sugar = Fat. 

Furthermore, when we eat fructose (or any sugar for that matter), blood sugar rises. The rise in blood sugar results in a short-lived boost in energy. You end up feeling hungry quickly and crave something sweet to feel balanced again. So not only are you fueling yourself with something ineffective that wont help you lose weight, you wind up eating more shortly after to get your body back to a balanced state. 

So what can you do differently? My recommendation is to incorporate healthy fats and proteins into your smoothie and cut the fruit. Good fats and protein are digested slowly, which will keep your blood sugar stay balanced and leave you feeling satiated for longer. Avocado, a source of fiber and fat, is a perfect base for a smoothie. A high quality protein powder is also a good alternative (Vega is my favorite brand). And if you do decide to have fruit in your smoothie, limit it to half a cup and try a fruit with a low glycemic load such as a peach or a pear.  Try these recipes out to get you started!


Green Cleanse Smoothie (Inspired by Kelly Leveque's #bewellsmoothie)

Ingredients

  • ½ organic cucumber, skinned and chopped

  • ¼ cup parsley, stems removed

  • ½  squeezed lemon

  • ½ avocado

  • 1 ½ cups full fat coconut milk

  • 5 ice cubes


Chocolate Madness

Ingredients

  • 1 serving vanilla protein powder. Here is what I use.

  • 1 Tablespoon Cacao Powder 

  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

  • 5 ice cubes


Rosemary Olive Bread

Brittany Carlson

There is nothing like a piece of warm freshly baked bread...dipped in olive oil...or spread with butter. Oh, and that amazing, almost tangible smell to light up your entire house. So good. If this sounds sinful, I have a wonderful surprise for you. This Rosemary Olive Bread recipe is completely grain-free, contains essential fats and protein and is full of hearty fiber. Dare I say healthy? I dare! Most importantly, it is delicious. And it's easy to make. Try it out and let me know what you think. 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsn apple cider vinegar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 2 tbpn fresh rosemary, finely chopped (spiced is ok too)
  • 2 cups ground almond meal
  • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease baking sheet
  • In a medium bowl, combine chia seeds, flax seeds, eggs, almond milk, and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mix almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in chopped olives and rosemary. Add chia/flax mixture and mix well to form a thick dough. Form a large ball with the dough.
  • Put ball of dough onto greased pan and form a oblong-- see below
  • Cut three diagonal slits on top of loaf
  • Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool, then slice to serve.

I used fresh olives, pitted and then finely chopped them. 

Form dough into an oblong shape and cut three diagonal slices in the center

Ready to be sliced and enjoyed!

*This recipe is from Better Nutrition Magazine

Thai Coconut Curry with Cauliflower Rice

Brittany Carlson

I've been meaning to make a thai curry for a while now and finally came up with a recipe that is easy and absolutely delicious. I had to share it with you! I wanted to use pumpkin since Halloween is coming up but acorn squash is so much easier to handle (easy to cut through, almost no mess, and you can eat the skin!). Look for acorn squash at your local market or grocery store-- they are dark green with touches of orange and shaped like an acorn. What else...I added broccoli for greens and cabbage for sulfur and color (color = antioxidants)! 

I served this curry over cauliflower rice. If you want to cut out grains for a meal, cauliflower rice is quick to make. The squash and coconut make the curry nice and hearty so having a lighter base of cauliflower was just the right thing.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 onion chopped (yellow or white)
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 acorn squash (cut into cubes-- leave the skin on!)
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp tumeric
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • optional: 1 pinch of chile powder if you like more of a kick
  • 1 can of coconut milk (full fat and unsweetened)
  • 1 cup of chopped purple cabbage

Tip: Double this recipe and enjoy half for dinner and freeze the rest for a busy day!

I love cooking with Kabocha squash! Aside from being hardy and delicious, you don't have to go through the step of peeling the squash. Once cooked, its like the skin was never there, and it blends into the curry perfectly. Is also loaded with nutrients and fiber : )

Method

  • In a large pot, sauté onions in ghee for about 2-3 minutes. Then add spices (tumeric, salt, coriander and ginger) and continue to saute for about 2 more minutes until the onions are translucent.
  • Add coconut milk and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer curry to a blender and puree. Note: you can skip this step but my taste testers agreed that the smooth consistency was more delightful!
  • Once blended, transfer curry back into pot and add in squash. Cover pot with a lid. Cook for about 8 minutes and then add broccoli.
  • Cook until broccoli and squash are tender, about 8 more minutes.
  • Lastly, top off with purple cabbage and cover for about 2-3 minutes. 

Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tspn salt

Method

Place cauliflower florets into a blender or food processor. Blend in two to three batches so the blender or food processor can break everything down properly. Blend/pulse until the florets are broken down into a rice consistency. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add cauliflower rice. Cover pan and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt. Serve alongside curry and enjoy!

Artichoke Soup

Brittany Carlson

I love artichokes. We used to eat them all of the time growing up. Usually they were steamed and served along side a creamy dip as an appetizer before Sunday night dinners. Artichoke soup has a very unique flavor. The sweetness seems to linger in your palette. I personally love it. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 leaks (only the white and very light green part)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of thyme 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zucchini - 2 cups chopped
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 3 cups of water

Method

  1. Heat ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until the leeks are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add thyme, salt and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes. 
  3. Add artichokes, zucchini and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Partially cover your pot and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. I use a vitamix. 
  6. Serve alongside your favorite protein. I enjoyed this soup with baked salmon.

 

 

Za'atar Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Brittany Carlson

This soup is delicious. I love it because of the za'atar spice, which is a savory blend of spices commonly used in Middle Eastern dishes. It is usually a combination of oregano, ground sumac, thyme, toasted sesame seeds and salt. I bought mine but you can just as well make your own.

What's more is za'atar has been used medicinally in Middle Eastern folk traditions. The particular blend of spices is loaded with flavanoids, which have an antioxidant effect on your body. Za'atar has been used to treat colds, stop coughing fits, improve overall immunity and even boost your mood. A 2010 study completed by the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that these spices elevated serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain.  Both thyme and oregano contain carvacrol, which is a substance that studies have shown increases neural activity in the brain, stimulating the secretion of your happiness hormones (dopamine and serotonin). Woo!

Children in middle eastern cultures are encouraged to sprinkle za'atar on their meals before an exam for increased brain power. I recommend trying this at home : )

Ingredients

  • 1/8 teaspoon nut meg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon za'atar spice
  • 2 leeks
  • one head of cauliflower
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee for sautéing leeks and spices
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee to be used after transferring the soup into your blender
  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped to enjoy on top of your soup (optional topping)

Method

  • Heat the ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, za'atar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the leeks start to soften. Stir often.
  • Add 4 cups of water and cauliflower. Bring to a boil. Heat on low and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  • Transfer the soup to a blender. I recommend using a Vitamix because it makes the soup extra smooth and creamy. Add the last tablespoon of ghee and puree until smooth.  
  • Put in bowls and top with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
  • Store leftovers in glass jars in the fridge or in the freezer for a later date!

Creamy Carrot Soup with a Kick

Brittany Carlson

This is one of my favorite soups to make. It is a thick and hearty soup and almost tastes like a treat-- naturally sweetened by the carrots and made creamy with the coconut milk. The spices are a less familiar taste for my palette so I usually serve this alongside a more basic meal.  It goes well with a big plate of green salad and roasted chicken. 

Ingredients

  • 8 carrots
  • olive oil (for roasting carrots)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk (organic, full fat and unsweetened!)
  •  3 cloves of garlic (peeled)
  •  1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon of chili flakes 

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Chop carrots roughly (slice them in half and then cut into chunks).
  • Place carrots on a baking tray and toss in olive oil and chili flakes. 
  • Bake carrots for about 50 minutes, or until tender
  • Once carrots are baked, place in a blender with the garlic, sesame oil, spices (cumin, turmeric, ginger, mustard seeds), and coconut milk.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy and enjoy!

Recommendation: Enjoy with a slice of gluten and grain-free Rosemary Olive Bread!

Fluffy + Moist Zucchini Bread with Tiger Nut Flour (Grain-free)

Brittany Carlson

I made this recipe to introduce you to tiger nuts! I recently was introduced to them as a an alternative to nuts. I used to go nuts for nuts until I realized they were the culprit behind some of my digestive issues. Not everyone has a sensitivity to nuts, but if you do or you'd like some variation, I recommend trying these naturally sweet and chewy tiger nuts out. They are also Paleo and gluten free : )

So what are Tiger Nuts? 
You're probably wondering why I'm replacing a nut with a nut. Well, tiger nuts are actually not nuts! They are small root vegetable tubers, which originated in the Mediterranean and Northern Africa. Tiger nuts made up about 80% of our Paleo ancestors diets around 2 million years ago.

What's more is tiger nuts are actually good for your gut microbiome. 
They are a resistant starch, meaning they resist digestion. So when you ingest a tiger nut, instead of being broken down for your cells to use as energy, it moves directly to your colon. Hello, fiber! If you need help getting things moving, this is a great snack for you.

But resistant starch does more than just that. Resistant starch is a prebiotic, which is a special kind of fiber that nourishes the existing good bacteria in your gut, specifically in your large intestines. You can think of resistant starch foods like the fairy god mother for your digestive tract-- the prebiotics come in, make things right, and voila! Everything is as it should be!

Note: You can also find resistant starch in apple skins, Jerusalem artichokes and onions.

Why is the health of your gut microbiome so important? 
Over the last few years, research has shown that many of our health issues are rooted in the composition of our gut microbiome, also known as the bacteria in your intestines. Michael Pollan, well-known author of The Omnivores Dilemma and Food Rules, stated that the microbes living in our gut, "also appear to play a critical role in training and modulating our immune system, helping it to accurately distinguish between friend and foe and not go nuts on, well, nuts and all sorts of other potential allergens." 80-85% of our immune system is located in the gut or intestinal walls. You can think of the gut microbiome as the right hand to your immune system.

Recommendation: Add some resistant starch to your diet! Tiger nuts are a great source. You can buy them through Organic Gemini. You can also make delicious baked desserts with tiger nut flour. Check out my Zucchini Bread recipe below to get your started.


Fluffy + Moist Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

  •  1 cup + 2 tablespoons tiger nut flour

  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch

  • 3 tbsp. coconut flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ginger

  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 juiced lemon

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat, unsweetened)

  • 1/4 cup applesauce

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1/3 cup melted & cooled coconut oil

  • 1 cup raw shredded zucchini (You can use any color--I used yellow! I shredded my zucchini using a vegetable peeler)

  • 2 eggs

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Grease a baking pan with ghee (be sure to grease the bottom and up on the sides!)

  • In a mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients (tiger nut flour, arrowroot starch, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt)

  • In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (lemon, applesauce, coconut milk, maple syrup, shredded zucchini, cooled coconut oil).

  • Combine your wet and dry ingredients in a large blender, I used my Vitamix. 

  • Once blended smooth, transfer into your greased baking pan.

  • Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil on top. Put back into the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until completely cooked through (some ovens may be different). 

(Adapted from Heartbeet Kitchen)